Hello Australia? : the impact of networking on "local" commercial regional radio programming
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Kathryn Ames
Australia’s commercial radio is increasingly networked into regional areas, and this paper examines the nexus of the metropolitan voice meeting regional listeners. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has managed a national broadcast network for years, and networks for the commercial sector have been integral to the development of Australian radio. However, for Rockhampton, the approach to managing networked commercial broadcasting on the FM band is quite new and increasing in scale. This has been affected by the dynamic ownership environment in which regional radio finds itself. This paper provides an insight into the increasing “lack of diversity” for regional listeners in Queensland as a result of some of these changes, contrary to Australian Broadcasting Authority aims. In doing so, it specifically responds to assertions made by Peter Collingwood about the potential impact of networking on regional Australia made in his paper “Commercial Radio 1999: New Networks, New Technologies”.1 This paper also raises the question of virtual location – does the need to be “everywhere” affect the character and conversations that take place between presenters and their listeners? Specifically, it looks at two commercial radio stations in Rockhampton, and analyses some of the strategies used by these stations to create a sense of “local” in order to engage regional listeners.